It's possible that their launch was very much an MVP and they've been doing a lot of engineering work in the background, but they were way behind Lime and Bird at launch time.
(Edited to clarify that the unlock code is sent via Bluetooth)
Freep at the Detroit Auto Show: 
>Bill Ford said the company sees an opportunity to build on its legacy and provide leadership in the rapidly changing mobility industry. Electrification is where the company is headed, he said.
>Unlike other companies, Ford wants to build on customer loyalty for established best sellers rather than try to market new brands that happen to be electric because it will speed up customer acceptance, Ford said.
But. Spin must still have //some// sort of technical knowledge Ford wants because they’re investing $11b into electrification vehicles with a product launch in 2020 and a lineup of 40 electrified and hybrid vehicles by 2022. 
Liubike is a scooter sharing company from Zhejiang. They originally developed a sharing solution based on Xiaomi kick scooters, but later switched to proper electric mopeds. Liubike, then resold the OEM "platform solution" to other companies, but still runs an own sharing business in smaller towns in Zhejiang.
Of course in this case the problem is lack of feedback from scooter on lock state.
The bigger issue is that e-scooter parking is fundamentally broken right now. Despite being told not to, users still park them in the middle of a pedestrian walkway. Even if the user parks them correctly, they get knocked over or blow over into the walkway. This product is broken until these companies do what Jump did, and INTEGRATE A LOCK INTO THE PRODUCT, and make users lock it to something at the end of their ride. This almost entirely eliminates the problem of blocking a walkway, and also reduces the loss of product to theft, accidental damage, etc.
Since they're required by law in California, I'd also like helmets to be integrated into the locking mechanism, but that's a nice-to-have.
E-scooter companies: Build locks into your products. It fixes many of your problems.
I would also say they aren't really bike "lanes" -- they're not a lane in the street. The Dutch call them "cycle tracks" which seems more fitting.
Okay, but… low bar and all that.
Something like this but with a much smaller gap between the rails: https://hackaday.com/2012/05/01/rail-bike-conversion-is-a-su...
I've always found helmet requirements pretty arbitrary: if runners who run at 10-15mph aren't required to wear helmets, why force them onto cyclists and scooter users?
Such laws have been known to adversely affect ridership, which, in turn, decreases safety for everyone because drivers don't expect cyclists/scooter users. I've seen a study that found that the net effect is that helmet laws decrease safety.
2)No sidewalk riding:
Good. I'd argue that even if bicycles could be OK on sidewalks, e-scooters/e-bikes should not be, because there's no incentive for e-vehicles to go slowly on sidewalks.
For cyclists, intermittent slowdowns enforce a low speed, because it takes effort to accelerate. But on an e-scooter, all it takes is a turn of a handle to get to 15mph in a very short span of time.
So, while there's a physical cost for cyclists going too fast, there isn't one for e-scooter users.
An individual using public space individually is what public space is for. People have private picnics in public parks. Public roads mostly carry private cars. Parking spaces are again used by individuals for short durations. But what the scooter and e-bike companies are doing is converting public space into private business use. It would be the equivalent of somebody running a used car lot by taking over a bunch of spaces on one street. Or by a company taking public parking spaces and selling them back to members of the public. (Both of which businesses have attempted to do lately and been smacked down.) Or somebody opening up a restaurant on the sidewalk. (Which can be done legally by a permitted food truck or food cart, but not by anybody who just gets the urge.)
Scooters and pedestrians sharing a sidewalk is also unsafe, but accidents are far less lethal.
The problem is that bikes/scooters are adding a third distinct speed fundamentally incompatible with the existing two, and that takes up a lot of space costs a lot of allocative inefficiencies (what if there are lots of cars and pedestrians, but no bikes/scooters at this moment?). There's no easily solution but if we're going to ask scooters to share space, at least choose the one that is less fatal, as annoying at it is for pedestrians.
I hope for (1) but expect (2).
They are much more useful in medium-density cities and suburbs where the roads and footpaths are less busy and public transport is not as effective.
I love using my scooter for commuting and errands in my low-density city, but I can't imagine riding it through a busy CBD - not on the road or the footpath. And yet that seems to be where most of these scooter rental companies are deploying. It seems crazy.
A scooter does allow a single person and their possessions to travel at faster than walking pace without getting sweaty. In the CBD that is not necessary, since public transport works so well. In the suburbs a scooter is more effective.
The point is that for short commutes and as a last mile solution to extend the coverage of public transit, scooters are amazing. And a rental system means they can stay downtown instead of needing to take up space both ways on the mass transit vehicle.
I'm not sure how that's relevant. You edited my comment to try and make it apply to cars, but it does not - cars are necessary both in the CBD and out for instances where you need to transport cargo etc, while scooters are less necessary in the CBD if you can use good public transport instead.
The fact that many people use cars when they aren't necessary is not relevant, other than to note that there's a lot of potential to reduce traffic by replacing single-occupant cars with personal transport.
And I'm not claiming that scooters or scooter rentals are bad - I love my scooter and see scooter rental companies as a big part of reducing the number of cars on the road. But why do they insist on deploying in areas where scooters are not wanted? Why not focus on the areas where they are most practical?
Because the most population-dense areas (NYC, SF) also happen to have the highest density of VC investment money.
I agree with you all the way up until here! I live in Miami, where single-passenger cars are king. Scooters would be great here. But the cities that would benefit most from scooters are not exactly overflowing with investment money.
Now that scooters and ebikes are offering a very practical alternative to driving, cars no longer need to be the default choice when travelling and we can expect their use to decline.
The problem of getting ~3 miles in a city like SF (SoMa to Mission) involves a 10 min walk to a train, and several more minutes walking once you get off the train, or walking to a bus stop and waiting 10+ mins there, with another walk to your destination. 10-15 minute car or scooter trips easily become 45+ min public transport trips.
Worth it. More scooters, please.
I'm in Austin where we have Lime, Bird, and Jump, and while I personally have yet to try the scooters, I strongly support more people riding electric scooters and believe the bike lane is the right place for them, at least out of the current options.
I don't hate the idea of having bike lanes and separate scooter lanes, but since we can't even manage to get bike lanes everywhere, I'm happy to go with putting them on the bike lanes.
I have to ride in the road for most of my commute, and a lot of human drivers are scary dangerous bad. Scooter riders are never more than annoying, and usually I can just pass them without difficulty if they're going slowly (which most are from a bike perspective). Most importantly, if they hit me, I'll likely be fine. (I've been hit by cars twice over the past ten years and I was fine in those instances too, but it's not my favorite experience. I've also had drivers try to force me off the road. People on their scooters don't do that.)
But when you consider the big picture, I think it's obvious that cars kill cyclists and pedestrians in the street much, MUCH more often that bikes kill pedestrians on the sidewalk.
The down side is that you need to be familiar with Chinese characters, and do a lot of clicking and zooming in and out at ditu.google.cn beforehand.
However I have moved to San Francisco, and 2 months afterwards I just bought an electric longboard.
Public transportation sucks in this city compared to any great european large city.
Eventually personal transport will be normal and everybody will know how and where to use it appropriately, but it will take a bit of time and practice to get to that point.
20 mph is 30 feet per second, and this yahoo brushed my back as I was talking to someone. 5 seconds to turn, understand, and start talking isn't unreasonable. If you can politely get the attention of somebody 150 feet away and receding rapidly using your voice, I'd sure like to see it.
Autonomous car fleets are the main "mobility services" prize of course -- all the major OEMs have autonomous research labs -- but you're seeing more interest in scooters and bikes (there was a headline about GM releasing an e-bike last week).
What we're likely seeing is M&A people caught up in the hype and trends.
In some ways, it's worth spending some amount as a hedge against something happening, but I don't believe these scooters will represent any meaningful change ... personally I think they are kind of a fad.
The logistics, cost, narrow use cases of all of it just don't work out well enough. Truly - what % of people could actually commute using these things? It's very small. Of those, who would actually do it? In winter? Up and down hills? Are they a little bit too old for this, or maybe not so open minded? Are there status issues, i.e. if you are a 'serious professional' in many industries it just doesn't bode well to be bouncing around on a scooter (I know this might seem foreign maybe to HN readers but this is a thing). And then of course - if it was useful for commuting, why wouldn't people just end up buying one so they always have it when needed? I think the use cases for these scooters is very narrow.
While I agree the general attitude of 'moving beyond traditional cars' is a strategic impetus, and it makes a lot of sense to 'participate' in these things early on ... I don't think this is a secular shift. Not yet anyhow.
America is a very spread out place - even LA.
And we're only just starting to see the regulatory and populist backlash.
Potentially: Everyone, winter to summer (look up his other videos), up and down hills (they're electric, hills don't matter), regardless of age. America is not the only country in the world, but even the US has cities far denser than the spread out, gridlocked hell of LA like San Francisco or NYC.
It also rains a lot. Do people ride e-scooters in the rain in SF?
Segways largely failed for a number of reasons but infrastructure was a big one. A lot of people probably forget this but they spent a lot of time and money lobbying cities to let them ride on sidewalks (and were mostly unsuccessful in this regard).
I own a bicycle, but I don’t always have it when needed.
The type of people to use these scooters are exactly the types that would likely use a bike. Or a Vespa.
That said there are a _lot_ of people who continue to cycle even in winter (-25'C is coldest I've experienced over the past three years), and the snow/ice doesn't seem to stop them. Though of course fat-tyres, and ice-studs are a given.
They also all have just a single break, which makes going down those hills dangerous.
To my knowledge all the scooters do some sort of regenerative braking. The Segway-brand scooters that Lime uses seem to ONLY have regenerative braking but those give you a little paddle to control it with. I wouldn't trust one of those to go down-hill, but anything with a disc-brake is fine.
1. http://rynomotors.com (launches April 16, 2019)
I'm not sure I'd trust the balancing capabilities of the unicycles you've linked to, especially in the face of shitty roads. Have you tried one?
Also, unlike most ebikes I can actually sit stationary on these without falling over. I'm very short and most ebikes are not designed for short people.
I haven't used a balancing unicycle, but based on experience with other balancing vehicles, I doubt I'd feel safe going as fast as on a scooter. Sounds like you might own one?
Even on their landing pages, those products look ridiculous. Convincing people in mass to ride around on those things is going to be hard.
Scooters and ebikes have the advantage of all energy going into propulsion instead of stabilization.
If a pencil skirt is too constricting it could be a problem, but the same can be said for most seated mobile cycle-based transportation methods.
And BIRD was founded in Apr 2017.
Some staff PM/engr/marketer folks at Hyundai Motor had the right idea. Too bad they were not in a position to start a startup.
edit: I'm not saying BIRD or any other copied Hyundai. Coming up with the idea and executing it is a big accomplishment. Electric motor scooters have been around a long time too.
A motor-propelled machine going 15 mph doesn't belong on the same surface as a baby stroller, a senior citizen, or a person with a disability.
They belong in the bike lane (which should exist in the first place), and their speed should be capped in areas of dense foot traffic.
I disagree, you can ride a scooter on a sidewalk safely and I need to do it from time to time. Of course, I don't prefer it. But it's pretty easy to do safely and it shouldn't bother anyone if done correctly.
The rules I follow:
1. Go much much slower.
2. Stay far away from other people and blind corners.
3. Always assume a person is about to make an erratic movement
4. Never pass closely to a person. When passing, go their walking speed + 1mph. It should be a similar speed differential to passing someone when you're walking.
5. If you have no space to pass, you need to go walking speed until space opens up.
6. if the sidewalk is too packed, just get off and walk it.
7. If you have far visibility (no blind corners, doorways, storefronts, etc) and there is no one in sight, let'er rip.
It all depends on the conditions. You should never blow by people at 15 mph. I commuted partly on 5th street in downtown Los Angeles and never had an issue, a close call, or had someone bat an eye. The goal is to blend in with other people walking.
If scooters require knowledge, thought, and skill to ride well on a sidewalk, then the two obvious answers are a) require training and a road test, or b) ban them on sidewalks. I don't much care which we go with, but having recently almost gotten flattened by some rental e-scooter idiot on the sidewalk, I think we need to pick one.
lots of things only have etiquette and no laws.
Laws are nice too, but getting people to follow them is equally tricky.
And regardless, if etiquette is needed for safe and effective sharing of the sidewalks, it's up to these scooter companies to make sure that etiquette training happens before they accept money and turn somebody loose. Otherwise it's classic "privatize the gains and socialize the losses" foolishness.
For example, I almost never see people reserve the passing lane for going fast or passing which is dangerous. People almost never use blinkers. Except, unlike scooters, they are driving vehicles that weigh two tons and are going 65+ mph. And they even require licenses.
So that's a pretty low bar, and not very damning if scooters have some etiquette issues.
i only go on sidewalks when I need to. So scooters are still worth it even if you are safe on sidewalks.
Keep it simple. "Can" but people won't. There is reason in this post ... but the law should remain that riding on sidewalks is illegal.
"Trusting" strangers on scooters to slow down is unwelcome heart-burn, as a pedestrian. "Will they slow down for me? Will they move off to the side? Will my dog stray into their fast-moving path? Will my dog, who freaks out for any person-riding-on-vehicle, freak out as this scooter crawls past? Do I need to pull the neck-collar on my dog hard so he stays sufficiently close to my feet as the person riding on the vehicle passes?"
None of this thinking should be necessary for a pedestrian. Keep the law set. Stay off the sidewalks.
Go further, require license-plates for scooters, to track infringement of riding on the sidewalk. Report scooters dragged into the lane. There is something fundamentally "not right for a metropolitan" about these smallish, easily misplaced vehicles.
Skip Scooter https://i.imgur.com/K6RuVzE.jpg
More Skip https://i.imgur.com/ZkdndG1.jpg
That's why I believe they should be enforceable rules aka laws.
I'm a hard-line rule following bicyclist, but I have no control over the other cyclists that blast past me at red lights. What are we supposed to do, render our nonexistent authority over them? I suppose I can say "please don't do that," but I try that and it has no effect.
Given how few of the riders are wearing helmets, they seem to at the very least be unaware of the risks they are taking.
> ... and others safety.
Power is intoxicating. Being in a more powerful vehicle on a surface shared with other less powerful vehicles makes some people ignore others' safety, or discount the way in which their actions imperil others.
Anyone who has ridden a bike/motorcycle in regular traffic can attest to that experience around cars: you assume you are invisible to them. I've seen many high-powered cars/trucks/motorcycles swerving and accelerating dangerously around less powerful vehicles in traffic.
Similarly, I've seen motorcycles driving fast down bike lanes to get around car traffic.
It's a similar situation between the scooters and pedestrians on busy sidewalks.
This is exactly the reason why I ride my bike on the sidewalk even with a bike lane that is divided from the automobile lane with a white line.
I don't care what laws exist, I am not risking my life riding in a bike lane that is really seen as a large automobile lane.
These are great ideas. Write them into your representatives. Designated street-side scooter parking would also be a plus. Not only does it signal to drivers "consider another option," it also deals with the scooter litter problem.
(To form, San Francisco chose the worst of all options and coronated two companies chosen by bureaucrats to run amok in the city.)
When they first launched in LA, this wasn't the case, it was just as much of a free for all as SF. SF succumbed to regulatory capture, but LA was able to figure out a way to allow all of the companies to exist in a better way.
Note that I was told that in some parts of LA, the organization is still pretty bad, but I was in Brentwood, Santa Monica, downtown, and Venice, all of which were in reasonably good shape.
So I'm not surprised you have a totally different view. Your view is going to reflect the values of the people around you. You may be surrounded by polite people.
Take riding on the sidewalks. Any sensible person would understand that operating a vehicle moving 15-20mph on a 3-foot wide sidewalk, in a dense urban area with people coming into/out of buildings, delivery personnel wheeling hand trucks, small children, parents with strollers, people walking cats and dogs, etc is just dumb. Yet, I see kids in Oakland doing this daily, and even though it's codified into the Oakland Municipal Code that this is illegal (motorized vehicles on the sidewalk), people do it anyway.
I got so fed up with this, I (intentionally) veered about 6 inches left walking on the sidewalk last week, causing someone going ~15mph to get knocked off of the scooter. Other times, I just stand in the middle of the sidewalk and play chicken. I weigh 240lbs so it's usually pretty effective.
It is indeed up to the law to legislate what is and isn't allowable behavior. But at the smallest scale, it's neither possible nor desirable to get a cop standing on every block, or surveillance cameras everywhere. You just have to trust people will exercise some level of decency and concern for others, which seems notably absent from day-to-day interaction where I live. You can't change that with laws.
It certainly would be amazing if national incentives could be set up to redesign streets nation wide to favor bikes and pedestrians in the same way we do cars.
It puts all the risk on the cyclist. I have had numerous friends get hit and run while riding bikes on bike lanes, most recently a friend died from it.
I'll happily receive any citations for riding my bike or e-scooter on the sidewalk, and take full responsibility for any accidents I get into. It's not even up for discussion in my mind.
In the UK: > In 2015, two pedestrians were killed and 96 seriously injured after being hit by a bicycle. But every year more than 100 cyclists are killed and more than 3,000 seriously injured on British roads
Your statistic regarding UK pedestrians being killed/hit vs bicyclists being killed/hit isn't strong as it's probable that nowhere near as many bicyclists choose to ride on the sidewalk as compared to staying in bike lanes and roads. That is, if more bicyclists opted to ride on sidewalks, the incident rate would certainly increase.
Additionally, rationalizing this in terms of the risk towards the bicyclist just comes off as selfish: "I'm not comfortable with the risk I'm facing while bicycling on the roads, therefore I will put pedestrians at risk instead."
Perhaps instead of endangering pedestrians, something more constructive would be to engage politically to improve the situation (maybe you do this already, if so, awesome!).
Nobody would accept having "painted walk lanes" instead of sidewalks, but for some reason this is considered an acceptable norm for bikes.
A bike lane really isn't safe enough to get people on bikes and scooters into it. It needs to be a separated cycle track like what is common in Copenhagen. This takes more space, but increases capacity of the whole road (the cycle track has more capacity than the driving lane it takes away).
There are a zillion other benefits too - more active/healthier population, higher retail spending along the cycle track (https://its.ucdavis.edu/inthenews/the-complete-business-case...), higher property values, only taking 30lbs of metal with you on every trip instead of 2000lbs, potentially local fuel source (food from nearby rather than oil or electricity from afar), etc etc etc.
Also, bicyclists seem to seriously hate the scooters. I'm not entirely sure why, but it seems to be that they're just not used to having much traffic on "their" paths.
If the bike lane laws disallow motorized vehicles, then how does the sidewalk law allow it? It sounds like the laws need to be updated to allowed motorized electric vehicles capable of going up to some reasonable maximum speed in the bike lane. Basically the inverse of the law that prevents mopeds and golf carts from going on the freeway today.
until then i'm fine with scooters being encouraged (but not forced) to use less busy roads, and tolerating them on sidewalks for major roads without bike lanes.
I live downtown Minneapolis and have been almost hit by scooters multiple times. They are everywhere. I have no problem with them, but please follow the rules. I've had people on the scooters yell at me to get out of the way both oncoming and from behind.
This summer when I was in San Diego for a half marathon I was standing on the sidewalk waiting when out of nowhere a scooter rider was crossing the street, hit the sidewalk curb, which was higher than they expected, and endo'ed right next to me. It was almost like the latest South Park episode. The scooters can be tricky to ride for new people, are fast, and really should only be used while wearing a helmet.
Talking about such, is there any data on accidents caused by e-scooters? (percentage wise e.g. vs bikes)
10 mph is more than enough to injure someone on collision, especially if that person is frail. Average human walking speed is 3mph. Runners average 10mph, but a running human has a lot more control over their momentum than someone in a vehicle, because they are expending their own energy to move, rather than using an external propulsion system, and they aren't on wheels.
> Talking about such, is there any data on accidents caused by e-scooters? (percentage wise e.g. vs bikes)
I don't know, but except for small children, bikes are already banned on most sidewalks in cities with a lot of foot traffic. Some adults choose to ignore those rules, but that's a different issue.
If the only argument is one of how much damage would happen in the case of a collision, bikes and scooters belong with pedestrians and not with cars. We don't need to speculate what happens when a car hits a bicyclist, it happens every day and the common outcome is that the biker dies.
There has to be a better argument for sentencing bikers and scooter riders to death.
At the core scooters don't really change that much about transportation vs bikes or simply running. However, they can be really convenient. So, it's going to be interesting to see how things evolve.
Wow then, you must be really worried that 3 feet away a 2 tonne vehicle can go 40mph. And you should, they kill around 40,000 people every year.
That said, I think it took about 4 hours from my arrival a few weeks back to nearly being run down from behind on one of the streets with a narrower sidewalk. A lot of riders definitely weave around people and generally expect walkers to get out of their way.
On the plus side there weren't a lot of parked e-scooters blocking sidewalks but there were some and I saw even more in Atlanta this past week. Not enough to be a meaningful problem for pedestrians but certainly for anyone in a wheelchair or mobility scooter.
You don't see much of anywhere near that much around Toronto.
I'm strongly in favour of more scooters/e-bikes in the city (and fewer cars), and I'm also strongly in favour of writing tickets for anyone who is antisocial enough to ride on the sidewalk.
If traffic cops spent a week or two rigorously enforcing the law, I bet you'd see a sharp drop-off in this behaviour.
(However given the number of cars, including cop cars, that I see blocking intersections after the lights change, I'm not sure that there's really a commitment to enforcing traffic laws in SF, even where this would be a revenue-generating activity).
And lots of people do die on these things: https://www.google.com/search?q=bird+scooters+deaths
These scooter companies suck, I wish they'd all go away. If they weren't all going for hypergrowth, they'd be less of a menace. I can see the boon for commuters on the last mile, but when I weight that against how they endanger children, encourage illegal usage of sidewalks, ruin pedestrian experiences, and don't provide helmets - I think the industry is in need of a reckoning.
They also totally wrecked the coastal street/"boardwalk" in San Diego. As a pedestrian, you're constantly looking over your shoulder for drunk idiots on scooters.
The unfortunate reality is that nothing has solved the last mile problem for public transportation as well as these scooters have.
Say you want to go to the store two miles away and don’t have a car. What are your options? Walk for an hour round trip, take a slow bus if you’re lucky enough to have both where you are and where you’re going on a bus route, or overpay for an uber/lyft/taxi, which due to their cost structure are generally less cost effective for shorter trips.
I agree the safety issues are of concern, but there’s really no better solution currently to that problem, which has been the hardest problem to solve since the advent of public transportation.
Scooters are often driven on sidewalks, illegally.
There is no viable enforcement options - cops do not have the easy means to stop scooters going arbitrary directions - and there are no license plates for scooters, yet.
Traffic fatalities from cars are already one of the top causes of death for kids and young adults, but has that made us in the states invest more in other, safer forms of transportation? Lol, no.
Disclosure: I work for one of the big scooter companies.
I live about a mile from the closest train stop, and currently I walk to and from because the entire way is steep coming back, at 10% grade.
My gut tells me a scooter would need to be unreasonably powerful to work in this area.
I do wonder what would have happened if my phone died before I parked the Scoot. Seems like it would be a pain in the ass.
It appears the Xiomi M365 had a rated motor of 250W with a max of 500W.
I cycle with a power meter, and going up a 10% grade requires 300 or so watts. Bear in mind the bike has gears that allow going up hills with lower torque. The scooters have a single ratio.
Source: own escootercartel.com
Aside from being an insanely fun and effective way to get around a city, my favorite thing about them stems from my hatred of cars. I own a car. But selfishly only like cars when its _my_ car and _I_ am driving it. Other than that, I think they’re dangerous, loud, expensive, terrible for the environment, and far too plentiful in crowded city streets. They crash and congest roads shared with public transit, wreaking havoc daily commutes, oh and they frequently murder the more tender specimens on the road.
I get disappointed when I see people complaining about these scooters and bikes “cluttering up the walkways” and pedestrians having “dangerous encounters”. I will admit it I saw a fair number of scooters that had fallen over on walkways. It really didn’t faze me. Walk around it. Step over it. Pick it up if you’re in a great mood. Maybe society needs time to adjust and develop more etiquette. It could be handled better, but to call this an immediate “problem” is just wrong— And what are the stats on scooter vs. pedestrian fatalities?
This debate reminds me of the hiker vs. equestrian vs. mountain biker tension. We all want to use the same trails and it’s a bit contentious. Hikers feel threatened by the fast moving bikers. Bikers are inconvenienced by people walking slowly on the trails. The horses are just taking 6LB dumps all over the path for everyone else to step in and ride through. They all try to lobby and ban one another from using the trails. Nobody seems to care about anything they aren’t partaking in.
In the end, people should be open to alternative forms of transportation that are effective regardless of whether they utilize it. I think these bike and scooter shares represent a massive objective improvement over cars, and even public transit. It might take some time for etiquette and city planning to catch up, but we need to check the hall monitor mentality and give it time, for the greater good.
Ford needs -
1) Better styling. I just bought a Grand Cherokee, and despite the 2020 Ford Explorer being RWD, I would never consider a Ford vehicle. Their exterior/interior styling is bland.
2) An off-road sub brand to compete against Jeep. The upcoming Bronco/baby Bronco/Ranger is a start, but Jeep is making a killing with the brand image despite 95% of people only taking their Wranglers over curbs in a mall parking lot. The 'dream' sells. They need to compete with Jeep in off-road prowess to sell the dream.
3) High performance trim levels for 2020+ vehicles high margin vehicles (Nautilus, Explorer, Aviator, F150, Mustang, Navigator) with hybrid/electric options that have a sub 10.5 second quarter mile.
Jeep is making a killing because mom wants a convertible with a second row for little Jimmy and dad knows she'll spend a lot of time going sideways if she doesn't have AWD then they once they're on the lot they realize that it's grossly overpriced for what it is and not a very practical SUV. At that point any half-competent salesman can get them to sign a lease on a Compass or GC.
Not sure about 3 with the F150. People are still wary about the turbos over the coyote (including a lot of misinformation and paranoia), much less electric. Maybe it'll be a boon for fleet trucks.
Maybe there will be a hatchback Miata by that point.
On the other hand, we spend enormous amounts of money on other solutions like busses or underground metro systems in dense urban areas which have significant problems like not taking you where you want to go. If there are systems which do get you where you want to go you might not have to make those up front and gigantic investments in future.
If you have systems which are point to point, then the value of real estate that isn't near a metro stop can go up since you don't have to price in the walk from that place to a metro stop. There are all kinds of fun implications.
Also, scooters might only be step 1. Maybe self-driving scooters with a 5 mile range are step 2, or something.
So if you compare to existing systems you can argue that scooter valuations are cheap if that's the direction we're going, though that isn't certain.
The setbacks: The infrastructure currently does not support the reality of the populous renting scooters (and bikes and mopeds). City planning was not developed around the recent technological availability of motorized personal transportation. Humans are irresponsible, and will leave scooters in disruptive locations. Humans are reckless, and a large portion won't abide by the established traffic safety. This "last-mile" transportation movement is a result of public transportation being a poor experience: slow-moving, dirty, congested, mismanaged.
Positive thoughts: "last-mile" transportation is highly effective if it could be implemented properly. Proper implementation would require responsible user behavior and infrastructure compatibility.
An anecdote: The company Scoot, at least in SF, gave access to moped-like vehicles for casual commute. Great idea. Give people the ability to personally navigate dense populations without vehicle ownership.
The problem: driving a personal motorized vehicle in dense large-vehicle traffic is a major responsibility. For instance, riding a motorcycle is extremely dangerous, and the vast majority of motorcycle riders take their safety incredibly seriously. They vehemently abide by traffic laws because small mistakes can lead to major physical consequences.
Scoot riders have unilaterally behaved like inexperienced idiots in traffic. Running lights, making last minute decisions, and ignoring speed of traffic sensibility The casual nature of that commute style leads people to behave like they are on bicycles, when they are riding around already-frustrated car and truck drivers.
The same me-first attitude was clearly visible when scooters were widely available. Even with city permits, people are still selfish.
There are conscious decisions to make city-wide improvements in efficient transportation. Mass transit combined with low-impact personal vehicles would be a utopia. But no large city was designed with that reality in mind, and the "disruptive" companies that make these technologies accessible, often with the "ask-for-forgiveness" mantra, are very disruptive to both the pedestrian reality and the detriment of too many cars.
Tl:dr, people are selfish and reckless, and even smart and available technologies will be abused unless infrastructure is designed to handle human habits.
This is not a hard problem to solve. Give scooter companies a ticket if their scooter is found somewhere disruptive. Let the scooter companies figure out how to cajole their customers to lower the disruptive-location rate to reasonable levels.
the problem is the existence of bike lanes. If public officials start saying "scooters belong in the bike lane", then they have to confront the fact that their cities have no cohesive network of bike lanes that can actually support a real journey. This has been acceptable up until now, because cyclists are weird and it's okay to tell them to just ride in amongst trucks travelling 40mph when a bike lane abruptly ends. But e-scooters are for "normal people" who aren't as content with being told to go play in traffic.
Cyclists vs. drivers is one of the most repetitive flamewar topics we see.
No, they are not weird! They do it because that's the only way to ride a bike in most of todays cities. Weird are general the car drivers who get upset every time they see a bike, and can't wait to overtake them with far less than a minimal safety distance.
This whole thing reminds me of the Portlandia take on this issue. Everyone just hates the other group because they are serving their own interests. No, "general car drivers" are not weird and that contentious attitude is ridiculous. Not everything has to be a dichotomous issue.
That's human nature, and it's exactly what's happening in politics at large. People from cities don't understand people from rural areas and vice versa. We think we're all so far apart, but in reality, our views are all grouped really close together (they're all human views). This is why we face major challenges solving larger problems, like global warming or plastic in the ocean, because it's easier to counter-attack than to do the work to change our own behaviors despite the faults we see around us.
Could you please elaborate on this? Why do you think so (or why do you think that is a widely held belief)?
If anything I would have thought that it was the opposite.
If e-scooters take off, that's a new/larger group of people traveling at 15mph.
Infrastructure that was marginal for the small cohort of bicyclists will become obviously inadequate as people riding e-scooters, e-bikes, motor skateboards, etc. join them. As a bicyclist who wants more and safer bike lanes, I welcome them!
Adding more ground level transit isn't ever going to be the solution, and widening lanes doesn't ever seem to work. Cities like LA need to stop being bought off by the developers and instead build larger versions of these for non-automobile traffic:
Building tunnels is expensive. Building bridges for cars is expensive, but a bridge that only needs to handle humans is much cheaper a 500kg fatso is much lighter than a 500kg fatso in a 4000kg SUV.
but to be fair, that's more (sometimes much more) expensive. not only because of the digging required to put the lanes/tracks underground, but also the extra things like ventilation systems and pedestrian exits/corridors.
A few years ago, I rode my bike around Lake Michigan and blew out a wheel while in the upper peninsula. While sitting and waiting for the replacement, mostly at a bar, one of the truck driver regulars told me when he sees a bike rider, he swerves to hit them. That actually happens in some places. I've experienced it first hand.
While at a stoplight, I was also told by a driver in LA that I should be careful riding my motorcycle or someone might hit me. I asked him if he was planning on hitting me, and he said maybe. Traffic in general is a dangerous place to be, but when you combine a lack of education or intelligence or negligence, it is the most dangerous part of our lives.
This is unsustainable. It's caused blowback from cyclists. "Fine, you want me to play in traffic, I'm going to start doing some dumb shit." I say this as a cyclist, I'm doing only 5 miles round trip but I do it every day. I see people blow red lights, weaving in and out of traffic, hopping onto the sidewalk, blasting through crosswalks inbetween pedestrians.
I mean yea, don't give them bikelanes, this is what happens, they feel scorned or something and start breaking the law.
I fully support these scooters doing the same.
People may complain about scooters and bikes in a traffic lane, but if it catches on, we should see less total traffic since they're more compact and they'll probably avoid the more busy, higher speed roads anyway.
I knew someone growing up who was a very successful banker. He had everything - 3 kids, a beautiful wife, amazing house, etc. Cycled to work every day.
One day, someone didn't see him.
Doctors managed to save his life but he was unable to use any muscle from his neck down. Had to be on a respirator for the rest of his life. Couldn't talk. Etc.
He killed himself by driving his motorized wheelchair into a pool. He left behind a beautiful family and wife.
Good luck, be safe. For the record, I fully support bicyclists and wish our cities were designed better to promote their safe use. Unfortunately, they aren't right now, and I hate to see people needlessly punished for choosing to cycle to work.
I'll take the relatively small risk of being hit while biking in exchange for the 100% chance of the very positive benefits (free exercise, no traffic, free parking). Driving has about the same risk of killing you and 100% chance of making you fat, miserable, and angry.
If you look at total deaths they may seem comparable to driving, but way more people drive than cycle.
Good on you for dedicating yourself to cycling, but you shouldn't ignore the increase in risk.
I don't think that's true at all. Do you have a source?
> 100% chance of making you fat, miserable, and angry.
As someone who spent 7 years doing a job that required me being behind the wheel of a car for 5+ hours a day, that is 100% not true.
I'm in great shape and actually love driving most of the time. I got rid of my car about a year ago and actually miss driving sometimes.
Given the same roads (city streets, since I assume you aren't biking on the freeway) ... there's just no way you're more likely to die in a car going 15 mph, than a bicycle.
(All of this was captured on video with several witnesses)
Having someone put away on a muder charge is small comfort for never being able to fully use your body again.
Road rage is real. People are assholes. And you're not going to win a bike vs car escalation.
#CriticalMass ... but protect yourself at all times.
When I'm driving, I want you to do this so I can see you most visibly.
As an aside, at least where I live, most of the lanes are sharrows anyway, so bikes are entitled to the whole lane. I think not many bikers or drivers are aware of this and it causes grief for everyone involved.
I've been seeing cyclist blow through stop signs for 30 years.
Source: Commuting to work on a bicycle for years.
The real issue is that bikes aren't any safer treating stop signs as full stops. Visibility and maneuverability on a bike are so high that a complete stop is totally unnecessary for a bike approaching an empty intersection, so long as they at least yield to traffic.
Bikes are not cars, and should not be treated as such.
People who don't bike don't understand.
Imagine having to effectively park you car every single time a stop was legally required.
All moving vehicles should be operated safely, but obeying a stop sign, just because its a stop sign isnt always safe, or efficient.
@drRogers below me...
To anyone bitching about stop signs, they should be bitching about the lack of roundabouts.
There are myriad ways to design infra for non-stoppage cyclists.
How about we have entire zones where cars arent even allowed? If this were the case, then you'd have to design around mobility that didnt involve cars.
And I get dinged at because I let cars (who have missed MULTIPLE of "their turns") go. I don't get it.
Uh. Roundabouts cost orders of magnitude more than stop signs and eat up several times as much space as a standard intersection.
>The average construction cost of roundabouts is estimated at approximately $250,000. Roundabouts discussed in this report ranged in cost from $194,000 to just under $500,000, depending on their size (or "footprint" and right-of-way acquisitions that were needed.)
Let's see... 200k$ roundabout or sub 2k$ (probably sub 1k$) for 4 stop signs installed.
Cars do come to a complete stop every time they reach a stop sign or red light. Those that don't tend to get very expensive tickets. Pedestrians also stop at intersections, usually, and those that don't tend to get tickets.
It's just cyclists who seem to think that they're above the law. Guess what? They chose an inefficient form of locomotion, then they get to live with the consequences of that--including stopping at intersections like the rest of us.
I don't see why it should be any different for cyclists.
This argument, of course, does not apply to people going full-speed without yielding through a stop sign or traffic light
Stop signs become yield signs for cyclists. Red lights become stop signs.
Cool story time: only time I ever got in trouble on a bike was when I (on campus, even) blew through a stop sign at an intersection that was not even publicly accessible. State Police saw me and chased me down and pulled me over on my bike :-). She had a point. I didn't just mosey through that stop sign, I blew it at speed. Dumb kid.
The problem with coming to a complete stop on a bike is that for people getting to work it means a much more likely chance that you end up there sweaty; and most work places don't have a shower.
This is the weakest excuse I have heard for bad behaviour.
Doesn't that seem like an argument for cyclists stopping at stop signs?
One reason cyclists don’t stop at stop signs is because it’s the biggest energy drain to have to come to a full stop, killing all momentum, and then pick up speed again from zero. If a cyclist approaching a stop sign sees that there is no traffic, and it’s not even a busy street, then that cyclist will likely just keep going. I’m not saying whether that’s right or wrong, just trying to shed some light on why it happens. Of course, if someone is complaining about a cyclist not stopping then that cyclist probably did it on a road with traffic, and so that cyclist was a douche. So yep it’s mostly because stop-and-go drains a lot of energy, and stopping for roads with no traffic can feel unreasonable. But other times a cyclist is just a douche. Scooter riders probably will not feel the same way about stop signs with no traffic, as they’re motor-powered instead of foot-powered.
Replace all the stop signs with yield signs.
Cracking down on law-breaking cyclists in SF would "send the wrong message" though, and the local culture trends more towards self-regard than self-awareness.
I have been a cyclist for a decade.
Saying things like "blowing through a stop sign" is stupid in the vast majority of cases, as stopping can actually be more unsafe.
Also, its so freaking tiresome to assume that every single human being is a fucking moron.
Cyclists have all their faculties, they can see, hear, move, discern. Thus, they are making a judgement to "blow through" a stop-sign in the same way anyone else makes a decision.
I once was yelled at by a guy who was waiting for a crosswalk, but all lights were red and all traffic was stopped - there was literally no traffic, and I was on the side of the T in the street, on Embarcadero in SF, where the bike lane continued through the intersection. There was literally no reason for a bike to stop for the light, as there was no reason for any other vehicle to interfere with the bike lane.
So I continued on, and this guy got so angry and was yelling at me and flipping me off becuase I didnt obey the red light.
It didnt make sense to "obey" so I didnt.
This can happen a lot, where the rule is to stop, but all other inputs are contrary to the rule.
So, be smart, be aware, stop when it is necessary, but not necessarily when it is "required".
The laws like "just stop at red" don't care about your perceptive ability, they care about everyone's perceptive ability. It takes a HUGE amount of swarm intelligence and error-correcting to make traffic work, single bad actors are auto-corrected for usually, but get two in one instance, or have a faulty error-corrector present (a tired driver, a bicyclist failing to see a motorcyclist in dark gear, etc) and there's your accident.
So while I understand the argument that you, or jaywalkers, make, I don't agree. Partly because of tragedy of the commons, but also because I simply don't trust the perceptivity of you + all other cyclists. It's too prone to error. Just go with the safe option.
I just cant agree with saying that the lowest common denominator is correct in all cases, and thus, people should have personal responsibility for personal risk, and thats just how the world needs to be.
Shaking fists be damned.
Cyclists aren't only putting themselves at risk, they are putting others as well, as is the case with anyone operating a vehicle. A cyclist choosing to ignore traffic rules can indirectly cause someone who expected them to follow those rules to take an action that greatly amplifies the risk of that cyclists' own decisions.
The fact that cities are not designed well for traffic that is not traditional vehicular should not be an excuse for people to put themselves and others in greater danger.
As an example of how hopeless California is, when I first got there, a policeman gave me a ticket for jaywalking. You have to understand the kind of people who live in California. They are willing to stand, passive and inert, on a curb, when absolutely no traffic is coming, or maybe just a little traffic that could easily be dodged. They simply stand there obediently and wait for an electric light to give them permisiion to proceed. I couldn't believe this cop. I laughed at him. The ticket cost me twenty dollars in 1966. Since that time, I figure I have jaywalked an additional thousand times or so without being caught. Fuck that lame-ass cop! I've managed to pro-rate that ticket down to about two cents a jaywalk.
If you can see a mile in any direction when in a car, and there is nothing coming, why stop?
(also, anecdotally - this is in my DNA, my great grand-father was driving in San Francisco when they were installing stop-lights. He refused to have a machine tell him what to do and would run all lights.)
Not the best example because that place didn't have a stoplight, but in any case, the driver didn't see a firetruck with its lights on because the sun was right behind it.
So even in rural areas with "nothing for miles," the room for error exists.
That, and a lot of the more reckless cyclists ended up donating their organs...
Also: outgroup, confirmation bias.
Which is fine, since inner cities are the most walkable places in the world, and the most well-served by public transit.
Unless we're prepared to spend billions on new construction over decades, there is just no infrastructure for a mode of transport that conflicts with all of the existing modes.
If anything, we should be building more bike lanes (on a gargantuan scale) since they are proven, efficient and already have substantial infrastructure.
I honestly don’t know if I’d trust public scooters, purely for safety reasons. (I use Zipcar which is a hit or miss most of the time, some of the cars are really filthy and broken since you can use it at 18) How often are they inspected? Do the scooter companies keep maintenance logs? Who fixes them? Do they use contractors or have in-house staff? Where are they souring the parts? These things are used way more than mine. I’ve fallen off my scooter twice and really fucked myself up and I always wear a helmet. One fall I hit the back of my head behind my right ear on the pavement first. You can easily kill or cripple yourself or someone else. An adult at 165lbs going 19mph packs a punch. They are not toys. There’s huge liability here.
This feels like when Uber rolled out. Nobody trusted them and it took time for regulators to catch up. These tiny electric vehicles are awesome and represent way more to come. I just hope nobody gets seriously hurt in the process.